Author Topic: Would your techniques really work on the street?  (Read 11956 times)

Offline Mitch Powell

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Would your techniques really work on the street?
« on: January 15, 2011, 10:57:29 AM »
Greetings,

We all practice techniques---be it kenpo, kajukenbo, jujitsu, whatever, but would those techniques that you practice really work when faced with an attacker on the street? Here's some things to consider.

1. The attacker is never wrong. In class you might have a set technique where the attacker is supposed to attack you a certain way. When they don't you tell them, "Hey, you're suppose to swing the club at me overhead--not from the side." In the street, you get what you get. Whatever the attacker does sets up how you have to respond.

2. No one in your class is really trying to kill you or seriously injure you. At times you might feel like they are but in reality they are not. On the street the person usually does not know you, may be high on drugs, and only knows they need to get your money, car, etc. and doesn't care what happens to you. They don't care that you need to go to work the next day.

3. No matter how good you are in class you will not be as good in a real street battle. Let's say on your best day in class you are a "10"--the best you could be that day. What would you be on the street when fear sets in, when it's raining, when you end up falling on concrete, when there are multiple attackers, when they all want to kill you, when your arm broke during the first blocking situation, when a knife appears, a gun, when you are out of shape, or maybe you are in shape but have never practiced stress-based training. Ever try fighting when you can't breathe?

4. Do you understand most techniques are skill building sets and not real applications? Because your attacker was not trained to attack you the same way as the folks in your class, your techniques are not going to work the same way. You practice what you are taught and then apply that information to full force attacks from different directions--like bull-in-the ring to see what works and what doesn't and you build on that. Find your strengths and then build on the rest.

Here's the million dollar question. Would your techniques really work on the street? If you believe they will, tell us why?
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Grandmaster Mitch Powell (Emperado Method)
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Offline Wado

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 03:39:46 PM »
Good points GM Powell.

Here's the million dollar question. Would your techniques really work on the street? If you believe they will, tell us why?

Interesting. I believe that almost anything COULD work, but what is it that makes things work?

IME, real world technique is often measured by the ability of the person to go from 0% to 100% in an instant. At 100%, even the worse technique in theory can be compensated by and rendered effective by strength, speed, and aggression. At 100% even the best technique in theory can be rendered ineffective by hesitation/indecision, the effects of adrenaline, panic/fear, and bad habits.

Bad habits are sometimes the worst because they are derived from your training methods. I believe only applicable experience can help to spot and prevent bad habits. If the goal is to develop practical application, care should be taken not to develop bad habits and a lot of training time can end up in the unlearning of bad habits previously developed.

Probably the main factor that allows for action at 100% is that it happens without having to think about it. Some call this muscle memory, but to be clear, it is muscle memory at 100% or muscle memory under fire.

Professor Baxter at a time was showing me something about kenpo techniques I believe he called "short technique". Basically it was the basic first part of a techniques, the fundamentals based on principles. These movements were to be in your muscle memory so that you would do them without thought. For example, if someone put their arm around your neck, what is the first thing you do without thinking about it? This was the "short technique" and watching people training, a lot of time, these FUNDAMENTALS aren't there because people usually focus on the big movements of a technique; then when someone really grabs them with force, they are hard pressed to get these big movements to work because they are off balanced and are lacking the fundamentals.

So GM Powell, I do not know exactly if the techniques will work, but I do try my best to ensure that what I do without thought is as practical for me as possible. If someone puts their arm around my neck by surprise, the fundamental I go for is to lock/pin their elbow and drop the weight, to "turtle", because I do not know if they have a knife to my throat, or going for a choke, or trying to snap my neck, or holding me for his buddy to stab me, or just a friend being a little too friendly. Then I will be able to apply the rest of the technique that follows, whether elbow to the rear, slipping under the armpit, or Judo throw over the shoulder, or any combination as it should be unlimited response.

1. Practical is what works intuitively under fire for each person right now. This means it has to be simple, fundamental.

2. Part of Martial arts is to take complex movements and train them to be simple. This takes years to perfect. But the goal is practical application and anything that is not simple, is not practical.

Just my opinion, I believe it will work because it is simple to me and I do it without thought under fire.









W. Yamauchi
Mateo Kajukenbo
Seattle, Washington

Offline Gints Klimanis

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 03:54:00 PM »
I agree with Prof. Powell's assertion that fights will not go as they do in cooperative training.  Unfortunately, any martial arts class that bangs heavily will be small, in part due to the selection of students willing to train that way and also in part due to time-off from serious injuries.  Still, I don't think that most martial arts teacher believe their structured training is a substitute for real situations, but they will reasonably claim that some martial arts training is better than no training.
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Offline sifutimg

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 07:24:00 PM »
I also agree with GM Powell & Gints.  What needs to happen at the very least is to practice and do the reps needed to sink into muscle memory so reaction comes from that instinctual, what some call the reptilian brain.  But here is the rub, we absolutely have to make sure those said muscle memory "things" we have our students do are things realistic and functional.  There is a difference between show technique and realistic usable technique.  We have to do the research.  It is very difficult this day and age to follow in our founders footsteps and go try things out and as I said in another post, gone are the days of two good'ole boys fighting and when one is down that is the end of it.  There are many Kajukenbo GMs & Professor's who have been in the fray.  Talk to them and trust them in what they teach and tell you works.  GM Harper is doing a good thing with one of his latest offerings to come and "get down" for an event he is putting together.  In all reality Fight'in is Ugly. 

As pointed out it is very difficult to create the environment in a class setting that raises our autonomic nervous system responses and mimick what it could be like in the street.  Some folks can't be taken there because their bodies and understanding are not ready for that.  Belt testing I feel is key and must have challenges that tire the student to the point of saying "this sucks" or "wanting to quit".  Belt tests (and class time) need to contain elements that the student hasn't dealt with to create as much pressure as possible.  At the higher ranks putting two people across from each other maybe allocating one as defender and one as attacker and telling them to "go" is a good test as the attacker does whatever they want and the defender has to respond.  This is a good way to see what is engrained and what is not by watching how they move and deal with the attack.  Again I realize that the defender knows that his school brother or sister isn't going to truly kill them or maim them, but they do know they are going to hurt them and at least that is something.  Then of course any Red man suit or padded up attacker practice is always good to allow the student to express their power.

To finally answer GM Powell's question I believe what we practice will work because I trust my Sifu's and Kajukenbo, I have asked questions of many experienced street fighters what works for them, and we train as realistic as we can with unrehearsed scenarios and padded attacker along with drills to incorporate thoughtless responses like the basic flinch response.  Flying over the handle bars of your bicycle what happens? Hands come up.  Research shows those that have went through wind shields in car accidents have all sorts of cuts on their hands and arms, again flinch response.  How about your friends who "Kato" you  ;D and come at you by surprise, your hands come up right?  That is the level we have to get to for our responses to attacks and it takes thousands of repititions so don't get bored and do the reps!

Anyway just some thoughts.

With Respect,
Tim
Grandmaster Tim Gagnier
Student of Great Grandmaster Charles Gaylord & Grandmaster Sid Lopez
Chief Instructor Pacific Wind Kajukenbo
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Offline Kelly McGee

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 11:47:46 PM »
I think that this is a very good question that each of us should often ask our self as we train.  I agree with Prof Gagnier in that "I trust my sifu and Kajukenbo" (and all those in my lineage).  I also believe that it was this same question that was the question that the founders asked themselves so many times while they developed Kajukenbo, and I also find it refreshing that we still ask the same question today. 

I train in Kajukenbo not to get points in a fight, but for the off chance that should I find myself in the position of defending myself or family, that I will be able to do what Kajukenbo has taught me, don't play around and get the job done quickly.  As my sifu has taught me, and his sifu taught him, "in 3 seconds it better be over".  When I received my black belt I was told again how important the basics are, and that there is more than going through the motions of the basics, they need a part of you like the way walking is (muscle memory).  That made me think of how important that basics are.  If I get into a situation, I figure that I need to be able to react to the basic instincts of fight or flee, and I better know each equally well.

I also really like GM Powell's first point to consider, I had never thought of it that way, but it is a very good point.

I have found the postings on this question thus far very useful and look forward to what others will say as well.  Thank you all.
Kelly McGee
4th degree Black Belt under Professor Mike Utechtt
Edwardsville, IL...

Offline Ron Baker

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 08:56:28 AM »
I also agree with GM Powell & Gints.  What needs to happen at the very least is to practice and do the reps needed to sink into muscle memory so reaction comes from that instinctual, what some call the reptilian brain.  But here is the rub, we absolutely have to make sure those said muscle memory "things" we have our students do are things realistic and functional.  There is a difference between show technique and realistic usable technique.  We have to do the research.  It is very difficult this day and age to follow in our founders footsteps and go try things out and as I said in another post, gone are the days of two good'ole boys fighting and when one is down that is the end of it.  There are many Kajukenbo GMs & Professor's who have been in the fray.  Talk to them and trust them in what they teach and tell you works.  GM Harper is doing a good thing with one of his latest offerings to come and "get down" for an event he is putting together.  In all reality Fight'in is Ugly. 

As pointed out it is very difficult to create the environment in a class setting that raises our autonomic nervous system responses and mimick what it could be like in the street.  Some folks can't be taken there because their bodies and understanding are not ready for that.  Belt testing I feel is key and must have challenges that tire the student to the point of saying "this sucks" or "wanting to quit".  Belt tests (and class time) need to contain elements that the student hasn't dealt with to create as much pressure as possible.  At the higher ranks putting two people across from each other maybe allocating one as defender and one as attacker and telling them to "go" is a good test as the attacker does whatever they want and the defender has to respond.  This is a good way to see what is engrained and what is not by watching how they move and deal with the attack.  Again I realize that the defender knows that his school brother or sister isn't going to truly kill them or maim them, but they do know they are going to hurt them and at least that is something.  Then of course any Red man suit or padded up attacker practice is always good to allow the student to express their power.

To finally answer GM Powell's question I believe what we practice will work because I trust my Sifu's and Kajukenbo, I have asked questions of many experienced street fighters what works for them, and we train as realistic as we can with unrehearsed scenarios and padded attacker along with drills to incorporate thoughtless responses like the basic flinch response.  Flying over the handle bars of your bicycle what happens? Hands come up.  Research shows those that have went through wind shields in car accidents have all sorts of cuts on their hands and arms, again flinch response.  How about your friends who "Kato" you  ;D and come at you by surprise, your hands come up right?  That is the level we have to get to for our responses to attacks and it takes thousands of repititions so don't get bored and do the reps!

Anyway just some thoughts.

With Respect,
Tim

We had Monkey Line, last night, Professor Tim.  And I participated. 

Everything you said is absolutely true.  That nice-looking club defense gets real ugly when the attack is "live" and the attacker wants to swing the club AND take you to the ground. 

Thank you for your advice.
Sigung (Shihan) Ron Baker
Kajukenbo 5280 MMA Foundation
Under GM Jason Groff
Ordonez Kajukenbo Ohana

juribe

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 12:11:06 PM »
This is a topic that is currently of interest to me for a few reasons.

I'm reading "On Combat," which discusses the effect of stressful, life-endangering situations on a well-trained person's ability to function as trained. I recommend it for anyone who wants to train themselves and others to perform well under duress. The book has signfiicant data about the positive benefits of "stress inoculation" on performance under stress. Stress inoculation is intended to address the issues (especially the physiological impact of adrenaline and heightend breathing/heart rate) that Wado cites: "At 100% even the best technique in theory can be rendered ineffective by hesitation/indecision, the effects of adrenaline, panic/fear, and bad habits."

There is also data in the book that supports the concept of "muscle memory"; that is, when under stress, humans will perform techniques exactly as they have practiced them over and over. There's an anecdote about a police officer quickly and successfully disarming the suspect of a robbery in progress, and then immediately handing the gun back to the suspect, because that is how the officer had trained the disarm hundreds of times (handing weapon back to training partner). This is an example of a habit that became muscle memory under duress.

I'm curious about how we can incorporate the concept of stress inoculation in our training?  Today the closest we come at Tribull is the bull ring (in our Kaju program) and full-contact sparring (with protective gear, in our MMA program). For myself personally,doing this frequently most definitely increases performance, but to Gints' point, these drills cannot be done all the time because the resulting injuries, which often take a person out of training for a while, are inevitable.

We've also recently had a lively discussion at the school about self defense training and "realism" among our Kaju students. Not only is it difficult to create a realistic stressful environment, but the Kajukenbo techniques themselves can't all be done at 100% (head stomps, eye gouges, ears, groin, limb destruction). How does this affect the muscle memory aspect of performance under stress? One of the great things about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is that the vital and small joint attacks have been taken out and for the most part, training can be be done at 100%. That major injuries that we see in BJJ are because someone did not tap out. But if you take the vital attacks out of Kaju, then it's no longer Kaju  :D

I was very happy to hear GM Powell in person on Saturday when he did some instructing at a seminar. His experience showed that it is indeed possible, even likely, that your performance will be impacted in a life-threatening or other stressful situation.  He told a couple stories from his own law enforcement background that were very enlightening  (as well as humorous). He then proceeded to make us work out very hard  ;D

Thanks for taking my questions and opinions into account as I'm certain I have far less experience teaching and training than any of you.  A great topic and one of interest for me!

Regards,

Jackie Uribe
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 05:06:45 PM by J. Uribe »

Offline Wado

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 01:58:14 PM »
Hey Jackie,

Nice post. You mentioned BJJ and how it was able to train at 100%. One of the things I found was that BJJ was also able to train effectively at 50%.

Sometimes there will be students/people that come in with a good street sense. They will be able to perform fairly well at 100%, but in training it becomes obvious that they only have two speeds. Really fast or really slow. What it comes down to is that at 100% they are performing well because they are able to compensate bad technique with fighting spirit (e.g. aggression), speed, and strength.

In BJJ, IME with cross-training, a lot of training time is spent on fundamentals and rolling at 50%. At 50%, bad technique cannot be compensated for with speed and power, so the students are forced to perfect the technique. Then there is the rolling at 100% that gives the students the pressure test and experience under fire.

I agree with all posters in this thread in what they are saying. From a training perspective, I would say that the combination of lots of 50% work and frequent 100% work in training helps to create a good training environment.

I remember one time sparring with a guy that was about twice my size and I had him in a guilotine choke, he made the most awful sound like he was dieing and so I lossened up the choke. He then slipped out and got on top of me. the experience of that just showed me how I did something from a bad habit. He told me after the fact that I had him good in the choke. Take that experience back to training... of course protect your training partner(s), but if a guy is tapping out, never leave yourself in a worse position if you want to go easy on him/her, instead, always keep constant pressure and use it as an opportunity to gain even a better position. Whether at 50% or 100%. IME.
W. Yamauchi
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Seattle, Washington

juribe

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 02:27:46 PM »
Hi Wado:

I'd like to clarify/add to my earlier post about training BJJ at 100% effort.  I did not intend to imply that we recommend training at 100% all the time, nor that we do so at Tribull. I meant to say that it tends to be safer to go 100% in JJ than in MMA, kickboxing or Kaju.

At Tribull, we spend our class time in Jiu Jitsu (gi and no gi) approximately as follows: 25% technique (show and practice specific techs with one partner), 25% situational grappling (apply the techniques just learned to a particular situation for example, in 3 minutes escape the guard as many times as you can using what you just learned or any other way), and 50% rolling or sparring. During rolling time, partners may go from 50-100% at their discretion or the instructor's.

I guess I have mixed feelings about your example. If someone is explicitly verbally or physically tapping out in class or competition, I will always let go even if they make it a point to take advantage afterwards. I guess this is where ring sports and "real life" differ drastically and where we need to be aware of potentially developing muscle memory that might be undesirable in a self defense situation. Thanks for the input on BJJ - Good stuff!

Offline Wado

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 02:57:22 PM »
Ah Jackie,

Sorry about that, I did not think you implied only training at 100%. What you said makes a lot of sense to me. I was actually using your post as an introduction to saying that is it important to take what you might learn from the experience of training under fire (100%) back to your regular training at slower speeds.

I believe that if one takes their training framework with the principles of always assuming the enemy could have a weapon and multiple attackers, a lot of the technique more and more resembles that which is Kajukenbo. But it is like planting a seed. Learning the basics, the fundmentals which are sound and do not change, but it is up to you to grow it to make it your own. Trusting in your family (Kajukenbo and extended family): brothers, sisters, fathers, grandfathers, etc. to have your back as you do theirs.

Technique such as an armbar, say you break the enemy's arm or you don't, in either case, what comes next? In Kaju technique, IMHO, you may snap the arm to break, but it might not be successful or you might want to protect your training partner if that be the case, then where does that leave you? ... you make darn sure that you have at least stunned them or unbalance them and you move on. It is constant attack, even when defending or running away. It is not ending on equal ground, you always get something out of it. The best is when their spirit is broken and they are done fighting... maybe like the old days, you become best friends, a bond made with blood. Sorry, I'm getting dramatic... Prof. Tim does that to me...
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 03:00:59 PM by Wado »
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Offline KajuJKDFighter

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 03:42:45 PM »
Gints you weren't talking about anybody you know were you?

With grappling yes agree the injury rate is much lower then boxing, kickboxing, or full scale fighting...a as someone who has taught alot of beginners to grapple it also takes the experience of the grappler to know how tight to hold a limb at it's limit..

I have seen many a ankle, shoulder, elbow etc pop....sometimes from the inside...but just as a full contact fighter must have some control on his/her training partners if they want to keep them.  A ground specialist needs to learn the subtleties of joint complexes and the end range to protect their partners, but finish their opponents....that's why we train and train and train.....GT
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Offline Gints Klimanis

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 07:27:04 PM »
Prof. Bono, I was making a general statement on martial arts clubs that I have either watched or worked out as a member.
"We do not condone the use of a toilet seat as a deadly weapon"
Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo, 3rd Degree Black Belt Prof. Richard Lewis
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Offline KajuJKDFighter

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2011, 08:27:20 PM »
Humor brother humor
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Offline dom28

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2011, 09:54:06 AM »
i agree getting the right mental state is 90% or more of self-defence.as for techniques everything & nothing works is right i've even heard of one local martial artist knocking out a knife attacker with a spinning heel kick.but i world not recommend it to my students i think the best way is to never think we have the answer,we have to keep questing to find what works you will never be able to say THATS IT I HAVE IT NOW  the only constant in a street fight is that it's never the same i have had some street fights but i world be a fool to say just because i survived them that means i know how to defend myself from any street attack and my students should just shut up and listen, they should tell me what they think and feel so we keep trying new things we keep leaning new things only in this way can we even get close to saying we teach self-defence
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 10:05:25 AM by dom28 »
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Offline c.chambers

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Re: Would your techniques really work on the street?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2011, 10:03:22 PM »
If I may put in my 2 cents, I would like to say that in my profession  I have had the misfortune or fortune, however you wan't to see it, in applying my Kaju skills and often. In all situations I have used parts of drills and never a full drill or a set of techniques. I have a pretty good record of self defense and I would like to share why I believe the reason I was able to defend myself successfully. 1st I think it is very important for students to understand that getting hit is as much about self defense then not getting hit and delivering techniques, in wich Kaju does very well through Kiya drills or what I call contact conditioning drills along with the way we train realisticly. 2nd, it is very important to teach the student that he or she needs to turn on the aggression button as quickly as possible. Note: aggression does not always mean action , but sometimes just the attitude. Professor Cox drilled this in my head as I grew through the Kaju ranks. 3rd, The mastery of basics and exaggeration of basics should be taught. When you exagerate the training and technique then the real thing will be easier when the fear and adrenaline factor comes in to play. 4th, when sparring and performing drills it is best to insure that Kaju practitioners are under stress  and while at the same time they are under stress they also need to learn how to relax so that your basic techniques will flow, not all the time, but only when the practitioner has the techniques or drills down sufficiantly. 5th is constant repatitios training to build muscle memory. 6th Monkey line practice or changing partners periodicly because every student is diffrent and does not react in the same way. 7th, Free style sparring with diffrent partners as well has the same effect as #6, but the advantage of this is that when Kaju students do this then alot of times the students uses other angles then the ones practiced in traditional drill training. 8th is when free style sparring it is good for students to spar via empty hands vs. knife, knife vs. stick, empy hand vs. empty hand, etc. etc. Note: These 8 things I have posted is not in any order of importance, but they are all key issues and aspects that I believe to have helped me defend myself against violent criminals in the past. I am only a 5th degree and not as well educated as some of you , but I do have practical experiance in using my Kaju skills  and am posting this with hopes to helping you all understand and give you my opinion. Some officers have said asked if I thought I could not be beat. I do tell them that I am not superman but only human and that all I have is a better chance of surviving than most. I also inform them that what I have learnedcan be learned by anyone with proper attitude and training. I hope this post helps.
Sigung Curtis Chambers. 6th degree blackbelt , American Kajukembo Asossiation member &  student of Professor James Cox.Head instructor in Texarkana Tx. Started Kajukembo "the Knight method" in 2006.